Franklin County, Ohio – OVI Penalties, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: OVI, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was pulled over for allegedly bringing his vehicle to a complete stop on a Columbus highway, and for a marked lanes traffic violation after he allegedly drove outside marked lanes on a public road. Client was subjected to several field sobriety tests (FST’s) by law enforcement officers. Client performed the FST’s in part. After refusing one of the FST’s, the client was arrested for drunk driving, taken to the police station and asked to take a breathalyzer test. Client refused to take the breathalyzer test.This was Client’s 2nd OVI offense within 6 years and, therefore, he was facing the possibility of 20 days in jail if convicted.

Result: At the arraignment, Client received an offer to serve 10 days in jail in exchange for his guilty. After turning down the offer, I pled my client not guilty and decided to continue negotiations with the assistant prosecutor assigned to the case. After filing a motion to suppress and continued negotiations, I was successful in obtaining an offer from the assistant prosecutor for a stipulated 1st OVI offense with 1st OVI penalties, in exchange for Client’s guilty plea. Client was sentenced to serve 3 days in a Driver Intervention Program (DIP) and spent no time in jail for the OVI offense.

Vinton County, Ohio – Improper Use of a Firearm, Fifth Degree Felony

Charge: Improper Use of a Firearm, Fifth Degree Felony (maximum 12 months in jail and $2,500 fine), and Using Weapons While Intoxicated, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 18 days in jail and $1,000.00 fine).

Facts: Client was seen sitting in his vehicle outside of a bar using his cell phone to contact a friend. A police officer approached the client’s vehicle and conducted a warrantless search of the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, the officer found a loaded handgun that was allegedly being improperly stored in Defendant’s vehicle.

Result: The assistant prosecutor initially refused to offer a deal, indicating that he intended to take the case to the grand jury in order to indict Client for a felony offense. The case was subsequently presented to the grand jury, which failed to indict Client for a felony offense. Afterward, I convinced the assistant prosecutor that I would be successful in suppressing the State’s evidence as a result of the unconstitutional search of Client’s vehicle. The State subsequently dismissed the charges against Client.

Vinton County, Ohio – Resisting Arrest, Second Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Aggravated Menacing, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine), and Resisting Arrest, Second Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 90 days in jail and $750 fine).

Facts: Police arrived at client’s home in response to a 911 call made by client’s oldest child who mistakenly believed that the client was hitting his wife. The police responded to the client’s home to investigate whether the client committed an act of domestic violence. During the investigation the client’s wife and the client repeatedly told the police that nothing happened and that the incident was a misunderstanding. Finally the client told the police to get out of his home. The police arrested my client for allegedly obstructing official business, tasered him with a taser gun and dragged him from his home. While the client was being dragged from his home, he allegedly made a verbal threat against a police officer.

Result: The assistant initially offered to dismiss the Aggravated Menacing charge in exchange for the client’s plea of guilty to the Resisting Arrest charge. After making an aggressive argument and letting the assistant prosecutor know that I would not hesitate to take the case to a jury trial, the State offered to dismiss the Aggravated Menacing charge and reduce the Resisting Arrest charge to a charge of Disorderly Conduct, a Minor Misdemeanor. The client pled guilty and was fined $100.

Champaign County, Ohio – Unauthorized Use of Property, Fourth Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Two counts of Aggravated Menacing, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine) and Unauthorized Use of Property, Fourth Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 30 days in jail and $250 fine).

Facts: Client allegedly sent threatening text messages to his ex-girlfriend. Client also allegedly took money from his ex-girlfriend’s bank account without her permission. Client advised me he was concerned that a conviction for a crime of dishonesty might cause him to lose his job.

Result: After negotiations, and in exchange for a plea of guilty, the State of Ohio dismissed one of the Aggravated Menacing charges, reduced the other Aggravated Menacing charge to Menacing, Fourth Degree Misdemeanor, and reduced the charge of Unauthorized Use of Property to a charge of Attempted Unauthorized Use of Property, Minor Misdemeanor (maximum $150 fine). Client was fined a total of $85 and ordered to pay restitution to his ex-girlfriend in the amount of $80.

Franklin County, Ohio – Failure to Control, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Hit Skip, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was driving on a narrow two lane road at approximately 2:00 a.m. when she struck a rock at the end of a private drive. Client left the accident scene and managed to drive her car to the end of the road where she parked it and walked home. The next morning, less than eight (8) hours later, client returned to her car to find two police officers inspecting the damage. Before client even had twenty four (24) hours to report the crash allowed under the statute, police wrote her a ticket. Police told the client that they wrote her the ticket for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report the accident to police.

Result: After arguing at length with the assistant prosecuting attorney that the State failed to allow the client the twenty four (24) hours to report the accident, the State reduced the Hit Skip charge and the client pled guilty to the charge of Failure to Control, Minor Misdemeanor. Client only had to pay a fine and court costs.

Franklin County, Ohio – Child Endangering, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Child Endangering, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was charged with Child Endangering after leaving her 2 year old and 4 year old children alone in the car for five minutes while she went into a store. The two children were strapped in their car seats, the car was running, and the air conditioner was on. Additionally, Client looked away from the vehicle only momentarily as she paid for the item in the store. When Client returned to her car she was confronted by several officers who issued her a citation for Child Endangering.

Client had no prior offenses and wanted to be able to expunge the child endangering charge if she was convicted at trial; however, a conviction for child endangering in Ohio cannot be expunged.

Result: At the pretrial hearing, I was successfully able to negotiate with the Assistant Prosecutor for a plea offer of Attempted Child Endangering in exchange for Client’s change of plea. The charge of Attempted Child Endangering does not preclude expungement and can be expunged if the Prosecutor and Judge are in agreement. Prior to the plea and sentencing hearing, I advised Client to complete an outpatient parenting program in Columbus. Client completed the program and subsequently pleaded guilty to Attempted Child Endangering.

Client was fined $250.00. Additionally, I was able to successfully avoid both probation and jail time for Client.

Delaware County, Ohio – OVI, First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: OVI, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was pulled over for failure to obey a traffic device on U.S. Route 23 in Delaware, Ohio. Client allegedly failed field sobriety tests administered by a Trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Client was arrested and taken to the Delaware County Jail where he was asked to take a breathalyzer test. Client attempted to comply by submitting to a breathalyzer test. The results of two tests administered by the Trooper yielded a result of “Invalid Sample” by the BAC Datamaster breathalyzer machine. The Trooper accused Client of trying to trick the breathalyzer machine and advised Client that he was going to be charged with an OVI refusal. Client had a prior OVI conviction within the past six years and the charge of OVI refusal stood to enhance Client’s jail penalties.

Result: At the arraignment I was able to successfully negotiate a reduction of the OVI charge to a charge of Physical Control of a Vehicle While Intoxicated. The reduced charge is not a moving violation and, therefore, the client did not get any points on his license from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Franklin County, Ohio – Hit Skip & First Degree Misdemeanor

Charge: Hit Skip, First Degree Misdemeanor (maximum 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine).

Facts: Client was driving his vehicle on a four lane road in Columbus at approximately 9:00 p.m. when he crashed into the back of a car. The client hit the car so hard that it was pushed forward into two other vehicles. Client’s airbag went off and, as a result, he suffered injuries. Client left the accident scene and walked to a nearby drug store in an effort to obtain items to treat his injuries. Client’s passenger remained at the scene to provide information to police and the drivers of the other vehicles involved in the accident. When Client returned to the accident scene the police and all other drivers were gone. Client was charged with Hit Skip because he left the accident scene.

Result: At the pretrial hearing I was able to negotiate a reduced charge of Reckless Operation. Client received only a fine. Client’s driver’s license was not suspended and he was not placed on probation.